The inside scoop on the book world -- A Tammy Wynette biography and Stephen King's new book made news this week

By Matthew Flamm
Updated February 19, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Jerome Robbins, choreographer of such classic musicals as On the Town and West Side Story, is about to have his story told — twice. Broadway Books has signed Amanda Vaill to write a history of the man and his times, in a similar vein to her recent Lost Generation biography, Everybody Was So Young. Meanwhile, Greg Lawrence, who coauthored Gelsey Kirkland‘s autobiography, Dancing on My Grave, has signed with Putnam to write his own Robbins biography, due out in 2000. ”He was a pretty complicated guy,” says Putnam publisher Neil Nyren of Robbins. ”I suspect there’s room for two.”

Putnam also just acquired the tentatively titled Tammy Wynette: The True Story of My Mother’s Tragic Life and Senseless Death, by Jackie Daly, daughter of the country legend, who died last April, allegedly from a blood clot in her lung. ”This is not Mommie Dearest,” says VP Stacy Creamer, who bought the title for over $600,000, according to sources. But what about the ”senseless death” part? ”No autopsy was ever done, and her body was not taken immediately to a hospital,” is all Creamer will say. The book is due in 2000.

When Stephen King unexpectedly handed in a manuscript a couple of weeks ago, his publisher, Scribner, promptly decided to crash it into print. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon — which Scribner’s Pat Eisemann says ”features an apparition of real-life Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Tom Gordon guiding a 9-year-old girl lost in the woods” — will be published April 6, the 25th anniversary of King’s first book, Carrie.